SINGAPORE: A former operations manager of a conservancy company was charged on Thursday (Sep 29) for allegedly collecting kickbacks from migrant workers as a condition for their employment or renewal of their work passes.
Ho Chiak Hock Derrick, who was working for Lian Cheng Contracting, is accused of demanding close to S$400,000 from 56 migrant workers on multiple occasions since 2014.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it began investigating the allegations against Ho in November 2020.
"The monies were either collected by Ho directly, or through three migrant workers acting on Ho’s instructions," said the ministry in a media release.
"These three workers themselves had allegedly paid kickbacks as a condition for renewal of their work passes."
Ho, 53, faces 61 charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA).
He was offered bail of S$30,000 and is scheduled to appear in court in October.
If found guilty, Ho can be jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$30,000, or both for each charge.
“Collecting kickbacks from migrant workers is a serious offence,” said the Manpower Ministry, adding that it will take stern action against offenders or errant companies.
This includes barring them from applying for new work passes and from renewing their existing work passes.
The ministry said migrant workers who suspect that they are giving kickbacks can seek help by calling MOM at 6438 5122 or the Migrant Workers’ Centre at 6536 2692.